Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

John Blum Performs @ Pianos NYC TONIGHT!

John Blum: Piano

Charles Gayle: Bass

Sabir Mateen: Saxophone

Michael Wimberly: Drums

Monday, December 21

Sets at 9:30 and 11:00

Pianos NYC

158 Ludlow Street

$5, no minimum

Josh Alan Friedman Remembers WEIRDO

“First floor, ladies lingerie and French parfume, second floor, men’s hernia trusses,” sang out the bulbous-nosed Irish elevator men...

Josh Alan Friedman takes you on a stroll down memory lane that leads to Crumb's Weirdo. Please provide your own Leroy Anderson soundtrack.

Click here to read it at Black Cracker Online.

Xmas Balls

copyright © 2009 Wyatt Doyle

Friday, December 18, 2009

Have Yourself a Borgnine Christmas!

Christmas comes a few days early this year for the good people of Sherman Oaks when the great Ernest Borgnine visits the local Borders this Saturday, December 19th, to sign copies of his autobiography, ERNIE (details here).

Starts at 2 p.m. Drink a few bottles of Borgnine's Coffee Soda if you expect to keep up with the man, God Bless Ya!

See "The Importance of Being Ernie" here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Josh Alan Friedman Talks With Doc Watson

"...He said, ‘Dad, what do you think about goin’ commercial?’ And I said, ‘You want an honest answer, son?’ He said, ‘Yeah, and I hope it’s the way I feel about it.’ I said, ‘I don't want no part of that rat race. Let’s do what we’re doin’ and try to stay alive in the business.’ He said, ‘Them’s my thoughts, exactly.’”

"The Circle Unbroken: Doc Watson" by Josh Alan Friedman.

Read it here, at Black Cracker Online.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BBP!'s Jason Lenzi Explains It All for You.

Plastic Man: Jason Lenzi

One look at their catalog and you've got to agree Bif Bang Pow! is a pretty cool company. And for an operation with so many high-profile licenses in its stable, it was built on and maintains an admirably DIY philosophy.

Honcho Jason Lenzi is a friend, so we've been following BBP!'s growth from the beginning. And it's been rewarding and inspirational watching someone fulfill his lifelong dream with nothing in his corner at the start but desire and drive.

Lately Lenzi's been filing a regular column - Plastic Soul - over at Action Figure Insider, where he's been peeling back the curtain on the toy business, explaining just how a thing goes from famous/beloved entertainment property to merchandise, and revealing a few trade secrets in the process.

Whatever your feelings about toys and toy collecting, if you're interested at all in popular culture you'll find Lenzi good company. He's a spirited writer with strong opinions on subjects that extend well beyond things plastic and poseable, and his entertaining columns are worth your time.

Particularly his latest, "Tribulations of the Trade," in which he shares some of his memorable experiences in the frequently frustrating world of licensing and approvals. That's the part of the process where studios and stars get to have their say, and anyone who knows even a little about the entertainment industry knows that that's the time when things tend to become...interesting. Things certainly do for Lenzi, and he's naming names.

Click here to read "Tribulations of the Trade" before the injunctions are handed down.

photo by Wyatt Doyle

Monday, December 7, 2009

Josh Alan Friedman? Not a big football fan.

"I hate the tailgate parties in the parking lots—a heart-attack land of barbecue smokers, “pulled pork” sandwiches and big bellies. I hate the Fritos, the Cheese Doodles, the pork rinds, the guzzling from industrial beer tanks. The headache-inducing white noise of “the game,” omnipresent on TVs and radios, in restaurants and clubs..."

"Football Hate: Don't Tread on Me" by Josh Alan Friedman.

Read it here at Black Cracker Online.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vanina Marsot in Berlin

(click image to enlarge)

the Berliner Dom

copyright © 2009 Vanina Marsot

Click here to order your copy of Vanina Marsot's new book, Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Josh Alan Friedman's Mountain Men

“We’re on the line. There’s an audience, here’s the equipment. Play. That’s what I mean by war. I adapt to a new kit every night. Leslie and I are never comfortable at a show; we’re pretty fuckin’ scared. Anybody can rehearse. We never know where it’s gonna land. We don’t jam—I can’t stand that fuckin’ word. We concentrate on trying to get somewhere.”

Josh Alan Friedman talks with Leslie West & Corky Laing of Mountain, c.1983.

Read the whole interview here, at Black Cracker Online.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shopping Trips

How adorable! A whole litter of tiny toy kitties to collect and share, with each scenario more delightful than the last!

This happy kitty wants to play!

These cutie-pals are sharing a bath.

And then there's Number 7...

copyright © 2009 Wyatt Doyle

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jack Bruce by Josh Alan Friedman

“I Feel Free” is likely his second most recorded song, Belinda Carlisle having the most recent hit in Britain. “There again, I didn’t like it, but it went triple platinum...”

"Jack Bruce Follows His Own Path" by Josh Alan Friedman, now on Black Cracker Online.

Click here to read it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shoulder Seasons

The pitifulness of my inability to maintain a blog of monthly hurtwords is as not-lost on me as I am sure it is as not-lost on the two or three of you who, at one point, visited this relatively regular blog with relative regularity.

I blame my dying local economy, my dying Ford automobile and my dying sense of relevance in the shadow of the great Brilliantcornersabostonjazzblog. Chris Rich--the Covering Cherub of the blog world.

And while the sad passing of the great Joe Maneri should have prompted immediate eulogy, it instead prompted great sadness, which in turn prompted great sloth. While I didn't know Joe personally, I did get to speak with him on the phone twice, and exchanged a few letters.

I became aware of Joe Maneri at the perfect time--the early 90's when (in New York City) Charles Gayle was in full flower. Right around the time of Repent. (Is that even possible? Perhaps it was a little later than Repent. You get the jist...) Joe (another religious man and admirer of Padre Pio) did the amazing, namely partitioning space in my listening-consciousness for another approach to the Tenor Saxophone. He did so on the recording Get Ready to Receive Yourself--a must get if you haven't gotten already.

[On a related note, since beginning this post, the great Sirone has also passed away who's wonderful bass playing graces perhaps my most favorite Charles Gayle recording, Spirits Before. Just like the ol' saying goes--if things are going your way, just wait...]

On a happier note, Bill Dixon did turn 84, and in honor of that, it was nice to see some original content up on that Dixon Society site: a short clip of Bill Dixon rehearsing before his performance at the 2007 Vision Festival.

So it's been joys and sorrows, thanks for asking.

+ + +

As far as hurt words are concerned, the Marxist hurt word trajectory is going to have to wait until I actually get a copy of Capital of my own--preferably not the penguin edition as their particular ultra thrifty take on typography and layout has an uncanny ability to make any time of the day into nap time.

In between nap-times, I recently found a very strange book in a thrift store called The Neo-Tech Discovery (Zonpower). It is fascinating on many levels, for many reasons, most of which are irrelevant to even this blog (like its typography and layout, for example.)

In this book, however, there is a listing of the 114 Neo-Tech Advantages, which when read one after another are like poetry:

The Nature of Man and Woman
Child of the Past
Carving One's Own Destiny
Dogma and Rules Eliminated

(and so on for another 110 lines)

The Neo-Tech advantage that got my attention was #104: Destructive Poetry Versus Valid Art:

...Since the value of art can be sensed through emotions and requires no intellectual analysis, the public needs only to notice the obvious art and architectural values to erroneously link those values of the master artists to the master neocheaters presenting that art. Thus, the masses are deluded into seeing those obvious values of great art as also representing the values of the neocheating church or government. Subconsciously they conclude: "I can see, hear, and feel those architectural, art and musical values. I know those values are real and valid. Thus, those values must also represent those who own and present this art--the church or government. Therefore, all that I do not comprehend about the church or government must be as good and valuable as the art that represents them."

Through that brilliant, but dishonest use of art as non sequiturs, the church and governments were able to survive the rise of honesty and logic during the Renaissance, the resulting industrial revolution, and then the rise of capitalism and free enterprise.

Regardless of their understandings or economic conditions at that time, those great artists betrayed honesty by selling themselves to the dishonest intentions of the neocheaters in church and government. Those artists are culpable and responsible for giving a major boost in power and endurance to the evil machinations of especially the Roman Catholic church and its neocheating leaders. Even Michelangelo must be held accountable. His great work in the widest context must be condemned as a net disvalue to human life for the dishonest role it played in supporting the immoral mystics and destructive neocheaters throughout the subsequent ages. Without selling out, he might have lost some immediate prosperity and fame. But if he had stayed honest to reality, his work would have risen to even greater beauty, value and fame.

Wallace, Frank R. The Neo-Tech Discover (Zone Power) p. 222

A little further along, there is this

Modern Art

Below is a quote from the archangel of modern art admitting that he is nothing but a clown:

"Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation from art. The refined, the rich, the distillers of quintessence (art critics) desire only the peculiar, the eccentric, the scandalous in today's art. And I myself, since the advent of cubism, have fed these fellow what they wanted, and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my head.

"The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all these absurd farces, I became celebrated. But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not in the grand old meaning of the owrd. Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt and Goya, they were great painters. I am only a public clown.

"I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries. It is a bitter confession of mine--more painful than it may seem. but at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest."

Pablo Picasso, November, 1951* A master neocheater making an honest confession

*Also reported to be from a fictitious interview: The Black Book by Giovanni Papini, 1951

To "appreciate" modern art, a person must figure out, interpret, or understand the "artist" and his meanings that "transcend reality". By contrast, all lasting classical art of great value is immediately recognized as a value by everyone through all ages. Such art needs no interpretation or understanding of the artist. such art represents beauty, values, and skill that are immediately recognized by the expert and the untrained layman alike. That is why the Roman Catholic church acquired only classic art--art that needs no interpretation to understand and value. The Catholic church was too shrewd to buy abstract art needing interpretation.

Indeed, modern art seldom represents beauty, values, or skill. Moreover, the layman does not know what mostly modern "art" means, while the chic "expert" plays phony games of interpreting the artist's meanings.

Today, the high prices of famous modern art works are supported by the tax-deduction system: Wealthy holders of such modern art profit handsomely by donating purchased works to the major modern-art museums (e.g., The Museum of Modern Art in New York). In turn, such museums provide grossly inflated appraisal prices for tax deductions. Thus, those museums gain ersatz art works along with cash donations for those fake, tax-purpose appraisals. At the same time, the wealthy "collectors" profit and modern-art museums perpetuate themselves through the tax system. When that neocheating scheme collapses, most modern art works will fall to an objective free-market value and become essentially worthless.

Ibid, p. 228-230

+ + +

Wow. How about them apples? So much to agree and disagree with all at once.

Artist culpability caught my attention, as did art needing no intellectual analysis, the culpability of Michaelangelo, Picasso as public clown and last but not least, the essential worthlessness of modern art.

Most exciting of all, however, was the high price of art not as indication of 'merit' but as function of the tax deduction system. I've always admired the visual art world, and largely for this reason--kudos to them!

While it would appear that "Jazz" is trying to bust that move (cf. Jazz at Lincoln Center) it would also appear that "free jazz" or "improvised music" or "the music that supplanted Jazz as the premier art music of the day" or whatever you want to call it has, by-in-large totally failed at getting in on that special kind of corruption in any (monetarily) meaningful way.

In the absence of any other aesthetic unifying characteristic, it could very well be that it is this failing that defines "this music."

Could it be that the ultimate definition of "this music" is that of a music which cannot be used by the capitalist for the ultimately nefarious ends of the capitalist in any meaningful, big money way? A garlic-and-vampire sort of thing. An exchange value/use value sort of thing.

And so to my fellow makers of "this music" I ask this: If this were in fact the case, would you open a vein or jump for joy or something in between?

copyright © 2009 Stanley J. Zappa

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vanina Marsot in Berlin

(click image to enlarge)

the exterior pipes

copyright © 2009 Vanina Marsot

Click here to order your copy of Vanina Marsot's new book, Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Josh Alan Friedman's Picture on the Wall

"If crops are bad, Ned said, 'We make do, then. We don’t ask nobody’s help.'"

Josh Alan Friedman remembers "Nellie Hat and Her Sons" at Black Cracker Online.

Click here to read all about it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In Tribute to Bill Dixon

New Texture's Stanley Zappa, Nick Skrowaczewski and The Citizens Orchestra will pay tribute to Bill Dixon in Boston this Thursday, November 12 (8 pm), at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA.

Outpost 186 is located at 186 1/2 Hampshire St. in Inman Square, Cambridge.

For more information on Outpost 186, click here.

Read a piece on the event and Bill Dixon by Brilliant Corners' Chris Rich here.

Farewell, Brother Blue.

Brother Blue's website is here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Josh Alan Friedman's Old Jews

Jack and Nellie came to Florida to live out their days, craving sun and warmth, needing to be near the sea and palms. Yet Southern Florida was no glue factory for the elderly. It was being vigorously reclaimed by Americans born at the turn of the century who had just reached retirement. They fled cold Northern cities. Active “senior citizens,” a generation of sexy, young, freshly retired couples in their 60s ready to cha-cha. They were hungry for those tans, golf courses, to let their career-worn bodies soak up wholesome entertainment at the Diplomat and Fountainbleau...

"Come to Papa" by Josh Alan Friedman.

Click here to read it at Black Cracker Online.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vanina Marsot in Berlin

(click image to enlarge)

view from the Berliner Dom

copyright © 2009 Vanina Marsot

Click here to order your copy of Vanina Marsot's new book, Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris.

Birthdays Worth Remembering

Art Garfunkel
Gram Parsons
Roy Rogers
Sam Shepard
Elke Sommer
Ike Turner

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Carl Ballantine, R.I.P.

reprinted from 21 April 2008:

The Amazing Mr. Ballantine

Carl Ballantine, late of The Ed Sullivan Show, McHale’s Navy and at least one episode of every television show ever made, recently made the latest in a long line of special guest appearances, this time at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. The occasion was a book signing to promote Drew Friedman's new collection, More Old Jewish Comedians, which features a fantastic Friedman portrait of Ballantine, among others.

After a Q&A with Friedman, moderator Ben Schwartz asked the crowd if there were any additional questions.

“Yeah,” called Ballantine from his folding chair in the audience. “When is this gonna be over so I can get something to eat?”

Carl Ballantine turns a page.

copyright © 2008, 2009 Wyatt Doyle

Monday, November 2, 2009

Josh Alan Friedman's Hot Type

...Thomas felt it his civic duty to embarrass the culprits of his crime-infested ghetto across the river in Illinois, even devoting headline coverage to beer guzzlers busted for urinating on the sidewalk. Also among the East St. Louis demimonde were model citizen advertisers, like Dr. H.B. Woolcock, a spiritual healer (that’s Voodoo, of course) from the West Indies, who got rid of the “jinks” and cured women’s “lost nature”... Another weekly ad was for Garo’s fish restaurant—where the honeycomb tripe was so soft, you could “leave your teeth at home.”

"The Evening Whirl" - an appreciation by Josh Alan Friedman.

Click here to read it at Black Cracker Online.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

copyright © 2009 Wyatt Doyle

The Return of Paul Silva!

One of our most popular contributors returns to New Texture at last, after too long an absence from our virtual pages.

The great Paul Silva is back!

But despite our joy at his return, it is with heavy heart that he offers 98 Tears at the 98.

Click here to read it.